Monday 16 February 2015

Altenew February 2015 blog hop!

Vintage Rose Birthday

Happy Monday! I hope you've had a lovely weekend whether you celebrated Valentine's or not. We celebrated our first Valentine's as husband and wife by going to see Scott Bradley's Postmodern Jukebox live here in Sheffield. It was AMAZING! If you're a fan of talent and a classic spin on modern pop songs then I highly recommend them. :)

But I digress. I'm not here to babble. I'm actually posting today as part of an amazing blog hop to celebrate Altenew's release of new goodies!

Welcome to Altenew's first 2015 blog hop! Not yet a year old, this company was launched in April 2014, and has quickly gained recognition among paper crafters. All the stamps that you will see being used here are available for purchase at the Altenew store and for pre-order at Simon Says Stamp.

Well I can hardly believe that I've been asked to be part of such an amazing line up of amazing talent. I'm pretty sure Altenew owners, Jennifer and Tasnim have the wrong Amy Gray LOL! But I'm here now anyways! You should have hopped here from the delightful Donna Mikasa. If you haven't, then be sure to start out at Altenew HQ.

I created three cards using some fabulous new stamp sets from the release. I had plenty more sketched out and only time stopped me from inking my little heart out! The first card uses three sets, Birthday Greetings (an essential set for any cardmaking stamper IMHO!), Wood Pallet Background and Vintage Flowers. All three sets will remain on my desk within grabbing distance for sure! The flower and leaves were a breeze to stamp using three different shades of ink and are so detailed! Great if you're not a fan of colouring. ;)

For my next card I got busy with the set, Halftone Thanks:

thanks a million

I kept it very simple for this card to let that awesome halftone stamp shine. The ombre look is still on trend and this stamp makes it so easy to get the look. I think I might have to make more of these in different colour ways. :)

Finally, an extremely simple card for my brother's birthday:

let's celebrate

This card uses a combination of Birthday Greetings and Invisible Numbers. I have Project Life in mind for Invisible Numbers since receiving our wedding photographs, but I love how it can be used to create personalised birthday cards too. It was an added bonus that the 'let's celebrate' sentiment from Birthday Greetings uses the same font and was just the right length to sit underneath the date. FYI – the format of dates here in the UK start with the number first rather than the month. ;)

Now a blog hop wouldn't be a blog hop without some prizes along the way, right? To celebrate this release, Altenew is giving away five stamp sets of choice to three lucky winners! The winners will be chosen from comments on the Altenew blog.

There's more! I will choose a winner from comments left on this post and the prize will be two stamp sets of your choice. You have until Friday February 20th, 11.59pm EST to leave your comments. You may enter up to two comments on:
  • The project or the stamps
The winner will be announced on Saturday February 21st at 9.00am EST – good luck! :D

Well that's all from me, thanks so much for stopping by. It's now time for you to hop along and check some more Altenew goodness from the marvellous Melania Deasy! 


Thursday 5 February 2015

forever friends...

forever friends

Woo hoo! Happy Thursday! Happy 5th-of-the-month! Happy Clearly Besotted release day! :D

Yup, those sweet products we've been teasing you with over the past few days are revealed in full on Stephanie's blog and they're available to purchase from 10pm tonight (UK time)!

Today's card in the final sneaky peeks uses the set, Friends Forever. Clearly Besotted flower sets are always popular so I'm pretty sure that this set is going to be a favourite. Not only does it contain two beautiful floral images but the co-ordinating sentiments are designed using that gorgeous, script-style font juxtaposed against the bold typewriter font. Love. It.

I know the picture of my card is a little different to what you normally see here. All I can say is that I ran out of daylight and I'm incredibly fortunate to work with a photographer who has a studio in our offices to photograph cards...*wink* (Thanks, Tym!)

tips and tricks
  • Although the sentiment is 'friends forever',  for design purposes I switched the words around. This still works (I think!) and the sentiment fits nicely around the flower. 
  • I originally planed to just mount this rectangular stamped panel onto my card front, but felt that was kinda boring. It also meant I'd have more white space to think about! So I opted to curve the top by drawing around a circle die. Easy. 
Well? Have you got your shopping list sorted for tonight? If you need more enabling, then be sure to take a peek at Stephanie's for the full reveal and more links to the Design Team sharing inspirational projects! :)

Thanks so much for visiting today and over the past few days. It's so good to be back blogging and creating - I promise I won't leave it it a couple of months before my next post!


Wednesday 4 February 2015

Monkey business...

cheeky monkey

Well we're halfway through the week and just over halfway through our Clearly Besotted sneaky peeks. The February release is available to purchase from 5th February (tomorrow!) at 10pm UK time. I hope that you're liking what you've seen so far – there's certainly more to come!

Today's card combines three of the new sets to create a card for a cheeky monkey! This cheeky chappy and the sentiment is from the set, Wild Thing. He's swinging in the trees created with leaves from Sketched Blooms with a present from Laugh Out Loud. I love how the these three different sets can work together. The googly eyes were a must. I couldn't resist. ;)

tips and tricks

  • The leaves were stamped with Distress Ink and then brushed with a wet paintbrush to spread the ink to achieve the watercolour effect.
  • I pruned the leaves to fit them onto the card front like a jigsaw. Before adhering them, I sponged some Peeled Paint Distress Ink onto the surface to help them blend in a little. 
  • I originally stamped the present first, then masked it to stamp the monkey on top. This gives the appearance of him holding the present. However, I then later decided to paper-piece the present so there was no need to do this LOL!

Well that's enough monkey business from me today. Swing across to Stephanie's if you haven't already to check out some more enabling wonderful sneak peeks from the Design Team. :)

Thank you so much for swinging by here today – see you tomorrow for the final day of CB sneaky peeks!


Tuesday 3 February 2015


friend xoxo

Awwww you guys! You know how to make a girl blush! Thank you so much for the warm welcome back to Blogland and for your beyond-sweet comments about our wedding. Still getting used to being Amy Gray here (note to self: change my blog header) but it does have a certain ring to it! ;)

Right back to business. Clearly Besotted business. We've got yet more fabulous sneaky peeks to tease you with today. Today's card features images from Simply Silhouettes and a sentiment from Friends Forever. These sets complement each other so much! :)

tips and tricks
  • This card really was screaming for some more texture in that white space but time (well, daylight) was against me. However I'm hoping that at least the strip of Washi tape at the top helps to balance the design. :) 
  • The silhouettes have been inked with Distress Ink and spritzed with water before stamping. This creates a lovely, soft watercolour effect without being an artist. Simply add more detail with a co-ordinating Distress Marker after for more depth if you'd like it. 
  • I hope it's not just me who hoards these acetate transparency sheets from Hambly. I added a strip of the hoarded stash to the bottom using a strip of tape along the bottom and covering it up with silver cardstock. 
I'm sure you've already visited Stephanie to see some more, but if you haven't then do pop across to see more sneaky peeks from the rest of the Design Team. You won't be disappointed!

I'll be back tomorrow with yet another sneak peek and maybe, just maybe, some googly eyes too... *wink*


Monday 2 February 2015



Hello? Is anyone there? Well after a near two-month blogging break I'm wondering if anyone might actually be visiting by here anymore! To anyone who is reading this, welcome! It's been a while and a lot has happened in the meantime (more on that later though!) but the main thing is that I'm B.A.C.K. :D

It certainly feels fabulous to be back blogging and I'm going to be sticking around over the next few days with some serious enabling of the new Clearly Besotted February release!

Oh it's felt so good to get back on the CB bandwagon and get busy with these amazing goodies. The release is available to purchase from 5th February 10pm (UK time) and there's something for everyone! From cute to contemporary, CB has it covered. :)

I thought it might be tough to get back into the cardmaking habit for the blogeroo after so long away, but when you have yummy products to work with it certainly kicks the mojo into gear. Today's card features stunning images and a sentiment from the new set, Sketched Blooms. I fell for this set instantly. The beautiful, detailed images. The wonderful font used for the sentiments. I think it's fair to say it's a favourite!

tips and tricks
  • The leaves appear behind the flower thanks to a simple masking technique. I always keep any masks I make for future projects too.
  • Distress Inks were used to colour my images by tapping them onto my acrylic block, misting them with water and using them as watercolours.
  • I placed the mask back onto the flower before adding some green Distress Ink splatter to protect the pink bloom. 
Well I'm sure you probably came here from Stephanie who is sharing a list of everyone joining in the release fun including our fabulous guest designers, Lucy Abrams, Jo Nevill & Jen Nelson! But if you haven't, then do pop across as there's plenty more enabling to be done!

***Warning! Plenty of non-crafty pictures ahead! Please feel free to hop along!***

As for me, I mentioned that a lot had happened in my near two-month blogging break. Christmas came and went and I've been creating a lot for publications that I can't really share here yet. But most importantly, I gained a husband, changed my name and had the best day ever. Our wedding day! Yup, I'm now Amy Gray and I'll be updating things with my new name in time. I could seriously bore you all day week month about our wedding but I won't. I'll just leave you with some pics from the talented Jo & Simon from Shoot Lifestyle Photography:

We kept things non-traditional and both got ready at home. I loved how casual the morning was - not a single nerve was felt by this bride!


I love that we have pictures to treasure of our home. We're lucky to live in a hall from the 1600s and seeing as we're looking to move soon, we wanted to make our home a big part of our day.


I debated on paper flowers for my bouquet (after all, I am a papercrafter with hay fever!) but I'm so happy that I opted for real flowers. I had pussy willow in my bouquet as a tribute to my dear dad who passed away two years ago. I think he would have loved the fact that it complemented my faux fur coat too. A happy coincidence.


I couldn't get my craft on half as much as I would have liked to but I did love creating our cake topper thanks to a Lia Griffith template to use with my Cricut Explore. :)



We had every weather going that day. Snow, rain, hail and fortunately some winter sunshine - just in time for the photography! :)


We were married at Chatsworth which is beautiful in itself, but at the same time sentimental to me. It's where I spent many summers growing up, jumping in the river from a rope swing (which you'd never catch me doing now!)



Though you can catch me jumping on a horse for a photo opportunity! It was much easier getting up there than it was getting down...


I'm pretty sure that's enough for you but just in case it's not (Ha! Who am I kidding?!), the extremely talented and lovely Jo and Simon from Shoot Lifestyle Photography have shared more pictures here. We can't thank them enough for the precious moments they captured.  Oh and the miracles they can work with a camera too! :)

And if you're still with me after all of that, thank you so much for your patience with my blogging break and for stopping by today. I'll be back tomorrow with another CB sneaky peek!



I am on various design teams and receive free product to use and promote. I geniunely love the products of the companies and all opinons are honest and my own.

I'm flattered if I've inspired you and you want to CASE anything of mine, but please don't enter it for commercial publications or competitions.
Thank You!
All designs, text, and photographs on Crafting Confessions are ©2009-2016 to Amy Gray unless stated otherwise.